Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 16, 2018 


President Trump tours hurricane-ravaged parts of Florida. Also on the Tuesday rundown: We examine whether the U.S. spending too much to guard confederate cemeteries; and the spotlight is on mental health during National Children’s Health Month.

Daily Newscasts

Doctors Offer Advice for Preventing Another Bad Flu Season

Health professionals recommend folks prepare for flu season before winter comes. (justjadecao/Twenty20)
Health professionals recommend folks prepare for flu season before winter comes. (justjadecao/Twenty20)
October 9, 2018

SEATTLE — After an extremely deadly and severe flu season last year, health professionals want Washingtonians to be more prepared this time around.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80,000 people died from the flu and 900,000 were hospitalized with symptoms last season in the United States. Medical director for preventive care at Kaiser Permanente Dr. John Dunn said people should consider getting a flu shot before cases spike this year.

"What I always want to remind people about is the fact that once you get a flu shot, it takes several weeks before your body responds to it in a way that will make you able to fight off the flu,” Dunn said. “So we actually don't give the flu shot during flu season. We give it in advance."

The CDC and other major medical groups recommend a flu vaccine for anyone six months of age or older, but some patients opt against it because of concerns about effectiveness or ingredients. Those with compromised immune systems should talk to their physician about whether a flu shot is appropriate.

Dr. Cicely White, a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente in Spokane, said getting a flu shot can prevent a person from spreading the disease to others, which helps protect vulnerable members of the population, such as very young or elderly Washingtonians. She also suggested families get immunized together.

"As a pediatrician I engage with families so, you know, we try to make it a family sport when it's time for flu vaccines,” White said. “So I'm not just talking about vaccinating that child or that patient that's right in front of me."

Dunn said folks sometimes don't want to get a flu shot because they believe it will make them sick. However, he noted the injectable flu vaccine doesn't contain living flu virus, so it's impossible to get flu symptoms from it.

"Although people will say, 'I got the flu vaccine and I got a runny nose, I had a cough, I had a fever, I had body aches,' believe it or not, side effects like fever and body aches occur in less than 1 percent of people who get a flu shot,” Dunn said.

He added that most likely, people who get sick after a shot contracted a cold somewhere else.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA